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Lightspeed POS Review

October 25, 2018

4:09 am

Lightspeed logo
  • Established: 2005
  • HQ: Montreal, Quebec, CA
  • Omnichannel features
  • Granular inventory management
  • Third-party integrations

A great service with standout features including eCommerce.

Tech.co rating: 5 stars

Lightspeed's cloud-based Point of Sale software helps businesses track sales and inventory. It's an omnichannel solution, so customers can place orders online just as easily as they can in person. Lightspeed is one of the most well-known POS services available today, and for good reason, as it offers a wide range of beneficial features in an easy-to-understand interface layout.

You can get bespoke quotes from leading POS suppliers, including Lightspeed, right here.

  • Free trial
  • 24/7 support
  • Serves all business sizes

The Lightspeed POS is popular: It's used by 50,000 businesses worldwide and processes 15 billion dollars' worth of transactions annually. The comprehensive software can be used for retail and restaurant operations, with omnichannel features allowing online sales to be integrated with in-person orders. It offers robust features, multiple channels for 24/7 support, and a user interface that's easy to navigate.

Get bespoke POS system quotes for your business here.

Our review unpacks the main features to expect from the Retail version of Lightspeed POS. We'll then touch on what features set the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system apart, before examining the support options to expect from Lightspeed and how its price plans work.

In this review:

Pros

  • Strong ecommerce integration
  • Has packages for both retaurants and regular stores
  • 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat
  • Straightforward pricing

Cons 

  • Slightly more expensive than some rivals
  • Isn't the best POS for quickly-scaling businesses

Want to get started with Lightspeed POS? Get a bespoke quote for your business now

Lightspeed POS: Core Features

Sales

Lightspeed POS users can create or search for a customer profile, before inputting the items they're buying or simply scanning them with a barcode scanner. Once ready, the employee can ring up the order for credit, debit, check, cash, PayPal or a combination. Then the staffer can either print or email the receipt.

Customers

Customers can be tracked via Lightspeed's suite of CRM tools, allowing stores to give individual customers status like “VIP” or “regular” and to create email lists for targeted marketing campaigns. Their sales history allows managers to make smart decisions about which items are most popular, or which future purchases to suggest to a specific customer. Support for a customer loyalty or gift card program is also available.

Inventory

Items can be quickly imported from a CSV or Excel file, and users can add additional style, size, and color specifications to each item. In addition, pre-loaded catalogs available on the Lightspeed POS allow users to restock their inventory directly from the system. Inventory can also be checked from the mobile app while on the go.

eCommerce Integrations

A single store inventory can be sold both in-person and through an online storefront, for a consistent brand experience. Customer data can be tracked across both channels as well, giving managers an accurate picture of their shopping habits. Websites can be set up easily through Lightspeed, thanks to ready-made templates offered. Integrations make selling directly through Facebook possible as well.

Learn more – 10 Best Retail POS Systems

Reports

Data about customer and employee habits can be tracked and logged. This means over time, trends will appear in the data, allowing managers to make intelligent decisions, with specific insights on factors including which employees clock in and out on time, which customers buy the most, and which items sell best on which day of the week. Accounting data can be automatically processed with integrations available from Lightspeed and all reports can be exported to PDF or Excel.

Restaurant POS

Lightspeed's restaurant POS offers a broad range of restaurant-specific tools, from an inventory that tracks individual ingredients, to a floor plan that lets servers locate the right customer at the right time, to a customizable menu that incorporates photos as well as descriptions. Table-side service is a highlight: With Lightspeed Restaurant, servers can take orders and send them to the kitchen while standing at the customer's table.

Lightspeed Restaurant is a popular POS option for the industry, but you can easily check out its competition by reading through TechCo's roundup of the top ten restaurant POS systems available now.

Video: Lightspeed Retail Overview

Lightspeed's core service is its Retail POS. Here's a video that explains what to expect from it, presented as a visual tour of its features. You'll see how users select locations and registers, how they ring up a basic sale, and how they'll view items in their inventory.

Set Up and Customer Support

Lightspeed offers 24/7 live support via phone, email and live chat — a trifecta of customer service options that's hard to beat, and which only a handful of other POS vendors come close to. Lightspeed also includes live onboarding sessions for new clients to help them get started.

In addition, webinars can walk users through the Lightspeed interface, and a customer forum allows users to ask and answer questions as a community. Their YouTube channels includes video tutorials as well.

Support & Training

Support options

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Live chat

Training options

  • Community forum
  • Webinars
  • Online videos

Lightspeed POS Plans and Pricing

Lightspeed offers three pricing plans: Small shopMedium shop, and (surprise) Large shop.

The Small shop plan starts at $99 per month, per store. This gives you one user account as well as help with setup, 24/7 support, and basic reporting tools.

The most popular plan is Medium shop. It costs $169 per month, per store. It gives two users access, and includes all the features found in the Small shop plan.

The Large shop plan costs $289 per month, per store. Four users can access the system with this plan, and you can add extra users for $51 per month. If you're on the Large shop plan, it might also be worth upgrading to Lightspeed's Advanced Reporting. This gives you real-time dashboards and customizable reports for $21 per month, per store.

There's also a 14-day free trial that you can check out before committing to Lightspeed long term.

Small shopMedium shopLarge shop
Price per month$99$169$289
No. of users124 (additional users $51/month)

 

Lightspeed Alternatives

Of course, Lightspeed isn't the only POS system on the market. In fact, it's going head-to-head with some of the biggest names in business including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

So, how does it compare?

 SalesforceHubspotApptivoMicrosoft DynamicsZohoLightspeed
Salesforce logoHubspot logoApptivo logoMicrosoft Dynamics logoZoho logolightspeed logo
Free trial30 days30 days30 days30 days15 days14 days
Free plan
Standard price range$25/user – $300/userFree – $50/user – $400/user$8/user – $20/user$80/user – $255/user$12/user – $100/user$99/store - $289/store
Custom price plans available
Pros-Wide feature set
-Frequently updated
-Robust support & training
-Quick learning curve
-Offers core features
-Email marketing in free plan
-Cheaper than Salesforce
-Offers core features
-Integrates great with Microsoft products
-Offers a wide range of features on par with Salesforce’s feature set
-24/5 support even for the free plan
-Offers an AI on par with Salesforce’s Einstein AI
- 24/7 support
- Serves all business sizes
Cons-No free plan
-Basic plan caps data at 612 MB/user
-Limited mobile optimization under some plans
-More costly than Salesforce
-Fewer features than Salesforce across all plans-More costly than Salesforce
-No free plan
-Limited API, compared to Salesforce’s open API
-No data backups in free plan
-Shorter than average trial period
- Slightly pricier than some alternatives
-No free plan

Lightspeed is a mite more expensive than its competitors, but it's still an excellent choice for small- to medium-sized businesses.

The Verdict

Lightspeed is a recommended POS system. Lightspeed's price is a little above the norm for the POS industry, but its strong features, ease of use, and support team more than make up for it. It's a good choice for a small, mid-size or large business that needs a high-quality POS system.

See how Lightspeed POS compares
to other leading Point of Sale providers.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.